PKK admits talks with US urging for mediation with Turkey

One of top leaders of outlawed PKK affiliated group KCK, Cemil Bayik confirms secret talks with US over mediation efforts with Turkey

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Cemil Bayik

A top leader for outlawed PKK's umbrella organisation KCK, Cemil Bayik, told on Monday that PKK sought US help to mediate with Turkey in efforts to bring the tensions down between the sides that are currently in fight, also asking for the US to stand a guarantor.

Speaking in an interview to the Telegraph, he said, “I repeat my call that the US mediate in this situation between us and Turkey," but put a condition that “Unless there are guarantees we cannot make unilateral steps.”

Bayik said the meetings are being held and messages are being exchanged with the US officials while also noting, “The relations will potentially develop.”

Bayik’s comment signals the US ties with militant group PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US as well as Turkey and the EU, would go onto another level and the opportunity would be used by the militant group as he hinted at the US that it would have difficult time in fight against ISIS if it loses support of Kurds.

PKK had unilaterally declared ending the almost three-year-long ceasefire with Turkey on July 11, also risking the progress of Kurdish-Turkish peace process that was launched by Turkey to end the three-decade-long conflict with separatist PKK.

Over the course of 40 days, PKK terrorists killed at least 44 Turkish security officers in suicide bomb attacks, ambushes and assasinations across the country.

The US officials had said “Turkey has the right to defend itself against terrorism.”

“If America continues to back Turkey’s policies it is possible it will lose the Kurds. If America loses the Kurds, it will be difficult to defeat ISIS,” Bayik said in the interview.

Another member of KCK leadership, Zubeyir Aydar, also previously called on the US to play a mediating role in establishing a dialogue with the Turkish government.

“We ask US Congress and White House for playing a role in the Resolution Process to bring peace into the forefront. It’s not enough for them [US] to say ‘We’re the friends of Turkey, it’s our NATO ally.’ We don’t need a conflict with Turkey. US should establish a dialogue with us like they do with Turkey. It should put us and Turkey around a negotiation table,” Aydar said.

PKK is an armed militant group that has been carrying out terror attacks mostly in Turkey’s southeastern since early 1980s. The group was founded by Abdullah Ocalan who was captured in Kenya and imprisoned by the Turkish state in 1999.

The 30-year-long conflict between the militant group and Turkish state claimed more than 40,000 lives.

In early 2013, the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) led by then prime minister now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched the peace process with PKK as the next step in Turkey’s Resolution Process that envisioned democratic progress over social issues in the country.

TRTWorld and agencies